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Grey Warden NPCs from Dragon Age: Origins.


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     Warden-Commander Duncan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/74823c84d34301e2f54cf769eaaf4f0e.jpg
Voiced by: Peter Reneday

"From here, you two are on your own. Remember, you are both Grey Wardens. I expect you to be worthy of that title."

The Warden-Commander responding to the growing threat in Ferelden and Team Dad to Alistair, Duncan is the one who recruits the PC. He has been a Grey Warden for quite a while now and commands great respect. He also seems to have connections everywhere in Ferelden.


  • Ambiguously Brown: Word of God is that his father was Fereldan and his mother a Rivaini.
  • Apologetic Attacker: Tells Jory "I'm sorry" even as he guts him like a fish.
  • Badass Beard: Merrill recalls it in Dragon Age II, remembering thinking a squirrel had attached itself to his chin.
  • But Thou Must!: Don't want to become a Grey Warden? Too bad. Duncan can invoke the Right of Conscription.
  • The Chooser of The One: No matter your Origin, he will pick you to be a Grey Warden.
  • Crazy-Prepared: Duncan having you gather the treaties to the Magi, Elves, and Dwarves seems odd until you remember he had his doubts about Ostagar stopping the Blight. Thus it's likely he had you gather them so that if Ostagar failed, it would still be possible to defeat the Darkspawn.
  • Conflicting Loyalties: As a Grey Warden, Duncan has to be neutral no matter what unless it's related to stopping the Darkspawn. Despite that, it's clear he still wants to help people even when it's not technically his duty. This is evident in the all of the origins, as he wants to aid the player character even without using the Right of Conscription to save them. For example, in the City Elf origin, he cannot storm the Arl's house to save you, but he can provide the means to do so.
  • Cool Old Guy: Even Daveth admits it.
    Daveth: All right for an old bugger. He's faster than he looks, too.
  • Death by Origin Story: Inevitably he dies at Ostagar.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Mortally wounded, he still manages to perform a flying take-down of an Ogre (a monster you most likely had a hell of a time trying to deal with at the top of the tower) and his reaction to the Hurlock charging at him with an axe is to throw it a withering Death Glare. Even in death, Duncan is a badass.
  • Face Death with Dignity: Fatally wounded at Ostagar, he stares down the hurlock general charging forward to kill him with axe raised without flinching.
  • A Father to His Men: According to Riordan, Duncan couldn't help having a soft spot for his recruits.
  • For Want of a Nail: He IS the nail that determines which playable character ends up as the Grey Warden.
  • From a Certain Point of View: He tells the Dalish elf that there's nothing they can do for Tamlen. This is true, but you find out only near the endgame, where you encounter a very much alive Tamlen trying to resist his transformation into a shriek. You only assumed that he was dead.
  • Good Is Not Nice: While he does seem cold and detached, he makes it clear he will do anything to save Ferelden from the Blight and saves your life in most of the origins. That doesn't mean he won't withhold information concerning the lethality of the Joining or stab Jory when he panics and tries to back out. While Jory had indeed drawn his sword, he did so while backing away from Duncan. Duncan is nicely summed up by the Warden when discussing him with Alistair.
    Warden: He seems like a kind man, if firm.
    • He sympathizes with each potential Warden recruit in their origin stories and will help them out to a point, but he is very clear that he will not violate Grey Warden neutrality under any circumstances. No matter what situation the recruit finds themselves in at the end, Duncan will demand that the PC join his cause over any objection. He will also withold vital information until absolutely necessary to ensure that the recruit will stay until it is too late to run.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: He's quite open about his subscription to the policy of "the Grey Wardens do what they must." Poor, stupid Jory.
  • Meaningful Name: The name Duncan can mean either "darknote -haired", "darknote -warrior", or "chief/chieftain". Very fitting for Duncan, on all points.
  • Mentor Archetype: Duncan acts as a source of guidance and information during the brief time he interacts with the Player Character in each origin. He intended to do much more of this for the player later, but was killed before he had the chance.
  • Never Found the Body: Word of God is that he's dead, but the Warden never finds his body during Return to Ostagar. Though given what the Darkspawn are like, it's less likely that he is still alive and got away somehow and more likely that his corpse was taken to be desecrated or to be eaten.
  • Parental Substitute: For Alistair.
  • Recruiters Always Lie: Not directly, but withholding vital, very unpleasant information about the Wardens is a low blow. For his part, Duncan actually agrees that it’s unfair, but considers it a necessary evil to strenthen the Warden’s ranks.
    Duncan: If only such secrecy were unnecessary, and all understood the necessity of such sacrifice. Sadly, that will never be so.
  • Satisfied Street Rat: When he was younger.
  • Schrödinger's Gun: No matter what origin you get, you get recruited into the Grey Wardens by the same guy. Each origin displays that the only reason your chosen Warden is The Hero is because Duncan happened to be recruiting in your area. The five other possibilities are left to suffer their fates.
  • Screw You, Elves!: Well, screw you dwarves, but yes. Delivers a rather stealth one in the Dwarf Commoner Origin, after the entire Proving Arena erupts in outrage that a mere Casteless with no formal training had just beaten veterans of countless Darkspawn campaigns. Duncan politely questions that wasn't the entire point of the Proving to find the best warrior in Orzammar?
    Proving Master: This wo/man is no Warrior, they are Casteless! Rejected by the Ancestors, his/her very footsteps pollute the Stone! S/he has no place here!
    Duncan: Except as your Champion...
  • The Stoic:
    • Duncan seldom ever shows emotion, and remains cool and aloof for the entire time you're associated with him. Alistair says that Duncan does let his hair down with other Wardens, however.
    • Certain humorous dialogue options when talking to him will occasionally make him chuckle, such as the Warden's comment that before the Joining and Battle of Ostagar, some dinner might be nice first.
    • In the magi origin, you can also get him to rather ardently claim that he wishes the Chantry would see the potential that mages had to help against the Darkspawn. This is the closest he gets to a Not So Stoic moment.
      • This of course hearkens back to his experiences in The Calling.
  • Team Dad: To all his recruits, but particularly Alistair.
  • Threshold Guardians: He takes this role in the Joining. He offers the mixture of blood and tells the recruits that it is likely to be lethal. If anyone foolishly attacks or tries to run after that, he kills them. He then hands the cup to the next recruit, having made it very clear that there is no turning back after getting this far.
  • Your Days Are Numbered: When Alistair tells the Warden about the Calling, he'll reveal that Duncan had recently started having the dreams that signal the beginning of it. Even if he hadn't perished at Ostagar, he wouldn't have had much time left (though, given the nature of Grey Wardens and the Calling, this trope is in play for all Wardens).

     Senior Warden Riordan 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/87de07293012681a3e588e76821aa1f8.jpg
Voiced by: Stephane Cornicard

"It warms my heart to see such courage."

A Grey Warden from Orlais, Riordan has known Duncan for a while. He is captured by Arl Rendon Howe after sneaking into Ferelden to determine what happened to the Grey Wardens there and the extent of the Blight.


  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Shows up quite late into the game and gets killed off just as the finale really gets going to make it more dramatic.
  • Badass Beard: While not as impressive as Duncan's, Riordan has a full black beard and is one of the more impressive NPCs in combat.
  • Black Speech: As a Senior Warden, he's capable of understanding the Archdemon and is able to "listen in" to spy on the horde. It's implied the Archdemon may have become aware of this, and deliberately leads Riordan to believe the horde plans to attack Recliffe when the real target is Denerim.
  • Combat Pragmatist: A pragmatic strategist, more like it. Despite the torture to which he was subjected, he's willing to recruit Loghain as a Grey Warden.
  • Dying Moment of Awesome: Attempts to perform a flying takedown of the Archdemon with a Blade Brake. While his attack ultimately doesn't kill the Archdemon, he does manage to cripple it badly enough that it's forced to land.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Snaps the neck of the guard outside of his cell after the Warden distracts him for just a second, and then proceeds to calmly explain who he is and sneak out of the Arl's estate, despite having recently been tortured.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: Inevitably.
  • Obi-Wan Moment: Which is his Dying Moment of Awesome, by the way.
  • Supporting Leader: When he tries to go beyond this and kill the Archdemon himself, he suffers a Disney Villain Death despite being a good guy. He does manage to force the dragon into a fight the PC has a chance of winning, however.
  • Suicide by Cop: With his Calling swiftly drawing near, his rather foolish decision to perform a flying takedown of the Archdemon may have been born out a desire to die as a hero, with his humanity fully intact and partaking in one last glorious battle, instead of just one more anonymous corpse to be forgotten in the Deep Roads.
  • Taking You with Me: Has no problem with being the one to sacrifice their life to slay the Archdemon, particularly since he's already rapidly approaching his Calling.
  • Violation of Common Sense: He splits with the other Wardens and goes on his own to a high point. From there, he jumps onto a flying dragon in a city full of ballistae and an entire army. Was there no other way to bring the Archdemon down?
  • Wham Line: "The Archdemon has shown itself. The dragon is at the head of the horde."
  • Your Days Are Numbered: Admits that he's rapidly approaching his Calling.

     Ser Jory 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/7b9af0bf0fb875590ec27d6fe34bf4ae.jpg
Voiced by: Mark Healy

"There is no glory in this!"

A warrior of Redcliffe, whom Duncan met in Highever. He was recruited into the Grey Wardens alongside the PC. He is a nice guy, but he suffers from mild cowardice.


  • Deconstruction: Of the "Shining Knight" archetype, who only fights for glory without really understanding the sacrifices one has to make to live that life.
  • Disappeared Dad: He becomes this to the child his wife is carrying.
  • Do Not Taunt Cthulhu: Invokes this in regards to Flemeth.
    Daveth: She's a witch, I tell you! We shouldn't be talking to her!
    Jory: Quiet, Daveth! If she's really a witch, do you want to make her mad?
  • Foreshadowing: Flemeth approves of Jory's smartness, but says he's "sadly irrelevant". She likely knows he doesn't have the fortitude to survive the Joining.
  • Glory Hound: The only reason he signed up to be a Grey Warden.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Only playable during the Korcari Wilds quests in Ostagar
  • Idiot Hero: The Warden can even accuse him off this in dialogue.
    Warden: You're not that smart, are you?
  • I Have a Family: He tries to justify his cowardice with this. It doesn't work.
  • Lampshaded Double Entendre: In Dragon Age II, Isabela asks Aveline if Donnic "shanked (her) Jory". What a way to be remembered.
  • Mistaken for Racist: A dwarf warden can get offended when he mentions he's never met a dwarf who wasn't a blacksmith. He wasn't making a generalization, he just happened to meet them through his father, who was a blacksmith.
  • My Girl Back Home: He has a pregnant wife in Redcliffe.
  • Officer and a Gentleman: Even when terrified, he remains unfailingly polite at all times.
  • Recognition Failure: Despite living in Highever and having fought in the Grand Melee held there, he fails to recognize the Human Noble as being the youngest child of Teyrn Cousland, something for which he quickly apologizes.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The blue to Daveth's red.
  • Resignations Not Accepted: Sorry, Ser Jory, being a Grey Warden is for life, not just Firstday.
  • Retirony: He can't wait for the war to be over so he can return home to his lovely wife and child.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: His death is used to highlight the lengths a Grey Warden will go to keep the secret of the Joining.
  • Signed Up for the Dental : It's made explicitly clear that he joined the Grey Wardens purely for personal glory.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Drawing his sword gave Duncan an excuse to do the same, and use it, so it wasn't a good idea at all. Agree to join the Grey Wardens - for the assumed glory, not to fight the darkspawn really - when your wife and child are more important to you, and try to chicken out when you find out about the Joining.

     Daveth 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ee3d2fbb65ec983e3280270743ca222e.jpg
Voiced by: James Daniel Wilson

"Maybe you'll die. Maybe we'll all die. One thing's for sure: everyone will die if nobody stops the darkspawn."

An ex-cutpurse who was conscripted by Duncan to escape execution for his crimes. One of the three Grey Warden recruits, alongside the PC.


  • The Atoner: He was a cutpurse before being recruited, so he sees being a Warden as a second chance.
  • The Charmer: He's introduced trying to flirt with a female soldier, but failing. Your female Warden is able to highlight him as such.
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Despite being described as a cutpurse, Daveth is not a very good one; he cannot steal and is a very poor locksmith. He is unable to pick any of the locks in the Korcari Wilds area and few in the Ostagar camp. Than again this may of been the point; he was ultimately caught, and doesn't seem very old compared to some of the other characters, meaning he has not had much time
  • Guest-Star Party Member: Only playable during the Korcari Wilds quests in Ostagar
  • Hidden Depths: Considering how little time he gets before his Plotline Death, Daveth manages to show a surprising amount of characterization. When you first meet him, he's a Boxed Crook who doesn't seem that happy to be press-ganged into the Wardens. He says that the only reason he's there is because the alternative was a prison cell (and probably the hangman's noose). However, he never seems to flinch in fear and trepidation the way the honorable knight Ser Jory does, and during the Joining gives a pretty good reason for any Warden to lay down their life for this cause.
  • Lovable Rogue: And a surprisingly noble one. Despite making it clear he hates the law, he states clearly and determinedly that he is perfectly willing to sacrifice his life, and much more, to put an end to the Blight. Hell, he seems more determined to fight for Ferelden than Ser Jory. He does have a superstitious attitude towards magic, but he probably would have gotten over it.
  • Male Gaze: Makes remarks to a female PC that he will happily watch her back.
    F!Warden: Just don't get too distracted back there.
    Daveth: I'll try to keep my wits about me!
  • Must Not Die a Virgin: One of his chat up lines to a female soldier at Ostagar invokes this.
    Daveth: Life is fleeting, you know? Tomorrow that pretty face could be on top of some darkspawn spear...
  • Not So Different:
    • His backstory reveals he was very similar to Duncan, as Daveth was a thief who tried to become a Warden after being offered the chance to accept it or die. This is basically how Duncan became a Warden as well. It isn't commented on, but easy to infer that Duncan saw himself in Daveth and wanted to offer the same chance he was offered to someone who was like him.
    • After hearing his story of how Duncan spared him from the noose, a Warden of the Dwarf Commoner origin can say that Duncan "has a thing for street rats" (which prompts Daveth to ask if they have a similar tale). Oddly, despite having a similar background themselves and being from the same city on top of that, a City Elf Warden has no option to point out the similarities.
  • Red Oni, Blue Oni: The red to Jory's blue.
  • Refuge in Audacity: After being saved from the hangman's noose by Duncan, he celebrated by flipping off the guard as he left.
  • Refused by the Call: He dies during the Joining ritual.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: His death is used to show the gamble one makes when they attempt the Joining.
  • Ship Tease: Unashamedly hits on the female Warden, who can notice he's The Charmer.

     Avernus 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/82dee2dd8871c7aa5d885de0ee115eb2.jpg
Voiced by: Martin Jarvis

"So the Maker told you that, did he? Short-sighted men have forbidden my research, not any god. Enough."

A Grey Warden under the command of Sophia Dryden, Avernus tried to help her defend Soldier's Peak, the Fereldan headquarters of the Wardens, from a siege by the merciless King Arland two hundred years before the events of the game. His experiments with blood magic and resistance to the taint have enabled him to extend his lifetime far beyond its normal length, but his dealings with Fade demons had terrible repercussions for his Warden brethren.


  • Age Without Youth: A combination of the taint and blood magic has extended his life by centuries, though he mentions that he will not live much longer when he is met. A diary entry found in the castle confirms he's been hearing the Calling, and putting off answering it, for a very long time.
  • The Atoner: A dark take, considering that all he did was for the purpose of closing the rift in the Veil.
  • Bald of Evil: Bald due to his age, but how evil he is will be up to the Warden.
  • Blood Magic: Used to keep him alive so long.
  • Enemy Mine: If you intend to kill him for his experiments and demon summoning, you can make it clear that you are only allied with him until all the demons are banished from Soldier's Peak.
  • Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: Referenced slightly, as he indicates that while blood magic would be of little use against demons, the darkspawn taint is alien to them and thus more suited to use as a weapon.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: As he finds out when summoning a lot of demons.
  • Evil Sorcerer: Anti-Villain variety.
  • Face Death with Dignity: He'll accept your killing him as justice or vengeance.
  • Flat-Earth Atheist: Disagrees with blood magic's immorality, claiming that men banned it, not a god.
  • I Did What I Had to Do: Outright states this twice, both in regards to the Wardens' rebellion and his own actions in the aftermath:
    • Justifies the rebellion as a necessary act, as King Arland was a tyrant whose brutality was driving Ferelden into ruin.
    • Argues that the Wardens he sacrificed for his research were doomed to die anyway, and that their deaths allowed him to prevent the demons from spreading and bought him time to try and find a way to seal the Veil.
  • I Was Quite a Looker: Looks pretty normal in the flashbacks, although that was over two centuries ago.
  • Mad Scientist: Conducted experiments on his fellow Grey Wardens in order to increase the power of the Wardens' blood taint.
  • Morality Chain: The Warden can become one for him, sparing his life and allowing him to continue his experiments, under the provision that they be conducted in an ethical manner. If so, it's revealed in Dragon Age II that he keeps his end of the bargain and has made several breakthroughs in the intervening years.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Tore the Veil, leading to everyone at Soldier's Peak (except himself) being killed by demons, instead of by King Arland's soldiers.
  • Pet the Dog: His interactions with Levi, apologizing for not having any proof for him of his grandmother's heroics.
  • Pride: His major flaw. One of the demons he summons even takes him to task for foolishly believing himself powerful enough to control them, having simply manipulated him into getting them across the Veil.
  • Really 700 Years Old: He's over 200 years old by the time of the game. This is especially extraordinary considering he's a Grey Warden, who usually only get about thirty years before they get drawn to the Deep Roads.
  • Tell Me About My Father: He provides some exposition to Levi about Sophia's heroism. He also has additional dialogue with the Human Noble, mentioning that several members of the Cousland family were executed by King Arland for taking part in the rebellion.
  • Undying Loyalty: While he has no love for the demon now wearing her face, he nonetheless continues to hold Sophia Dryden's memory in high esteem, and makes it clear to Levi that even though she was forced to do some questionable things near the end, she was the hero his family believes her to be.
    Avernus: [to Levi] Your great-great-grandmother was the best of us. Brave, charismatic, fiery, utterly dedicated to the fight.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: He did what he did to fight against a tyrant.
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     Warden-Commander Sophia Dryden 
https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/27f90cc104983c5528f70235378e9028.jpg
Voiced by: Stephanie Wolfe

"I will inspire the Wardens, and Arland will rue the day he spared my life."

Commander of the Grey Wardens roughly two hundred years before the events of the game. Sophia was a noblewoman who was a rival with King Arland for the throne; he intended to execute her, but her popularity with her fellow nobles made it a risky prospect, so he sentenced her to become a Grey Warden instead. Charismatic, intelligent, and ruthless when necessary, she rose quickly through the ranks to the top post, then led the Wardens in an effort to oust the tyrannical Arland. She and many of her men died when Soldier's Peak was besieged.


  • Action Girl: Leader of the Grey Warden's of Soldier's Peak against King Arland.
  • Action Mom: Implied; since she is Levi Dryden's great-great-grandmother, she must have had at least one son.
  • Ambiguous Situation: Was she merely possessed, or did she make a deal with the demon?
  • Broken Pedestal: Levi ultimately comes to see Sophia as less heroic than he originally thought.
  • Combat Pragmatist: As is typical for a Grey Warden, since they're permitted to use any advantage in battle.
  • Cruel Mercy: At least initially, this is how she viewed being allowed to become a Grey Warden rather than simply being executed. She would have preferred to die as a noble lady rather than become a 'monstrous nothing', which is another indication she wasn't quite the paragon of the Grey Wardens her family holds her up to be.
  • Good Is Not Nice: Willingly allowed Avernus to summon demons. Avernus notes that admittedly, he would have done it anyway without her approval.
  • He’s Back: When Sophia joined the Wardens, two centuries had passed since the Fourth Blight and many people had begun to dismiss the Wardens as relics of a darker time in history freeloading off the kingdoms of Thedas. Sophia reversed that in Ferelden, improving their power and prestige and heavily bolstering their recruitment numbers.
  • Honor Before Reason: Avernus implies that despite the things they did to try and defeat Arland (i.e., blood magic, demon summoning), Sophia still had scruples about their methods that made her refuse to use other, even more extreme measures which might have assured victory.
  • Magnetic Hero: Very charismatic, enough to inspire her Wardens to defy their usual neutrality and rebel against the king.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Summoning demons to help stave off King Arland's men, only to find that it hastened her own men's demise as the demons swiftly turned on them next. Likewise, due to leading said failed rebellion against King Arland, the Grey Wardens were exiled from Ferelden for the next two hundred years. As of the time of the game, they've only been allowed back in the country for about twenty years.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: King Arland intended to execute her, but her popularity with the nobles meant she was sentenced to join the Wardens. Unfortunately, the Joining didn't kill her as he'd hoped and she ended up becoming Warden-Commander, eventually leading the Wardens and Fereldan forces in a rebellion against him.
  • The Paragon Always Rebels: Avernus describes her as the best of the Grey Wardens in Ferelden. She was "brave, charismatic, fiery" but dragged most of her Wardens down with her when their rebellion failed.
  • Posthumous Character: Sophia herself is long dead. Her corpse is animated by a demon.
  • Rebel Leader: Led a rebellion against Arland when he proved to be a corrupt and mad tyrant.
  • Rousing Speech: In one of the ghostly flashbacks, she's seen giving a beauty to her starving men, urging them not to give up.
    Sophia Dryden: Men, I won't lie to you. The situation is grim. Our forces outnumbered, our bellies empty and our hearts are sagging. But we are Wardens! Darkspawn flee when they hear our horns! Archdemons die when they taste our blades! So are we to bend knee to a mere human despot?! NO! I for one will never give up! I for one will ''never'' surrender just to dance on Arland's gallows! So I propose here and now, in these hallowed halls where generations of our brethren stood vigil against darkspawn and evil, that we send a message to that fat bastard! In this place, strong men, proud men stood defiant! And would rather die than submit to tyranny!
  • Spell My Name with a "The" / Third-Person Person: The demon in her body refers to itself as "This One" and its host as "The Dryden".
  • The Undead: Her corpse is possessed by an unspecified demon, possibly Desire or Pride.
  • Well-Intentioned Extremist: She did what she had to do to fight against a tyrant.


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